It can be a daunting challenge for consumers to separate true advertising claims from false ones. That is especially difficult given the spending power merchants put behind advertising campaigns meant to sway consumers to buy their products. And when increasing sales takes priority over accurate information, advertising can include misleading claims.
For this reason, Government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are mandated to protect consumers from deceptive practices and false advertising. The agencies file hundreds of cases each year when a product fails to meet the expectations created by the advertisers.
24/7 Wall St. considered some examples of misleading product claims by reviewing cases processed by government agencies. We also reviewed media reports of misleading claims made by companies. For this list, a product had to be involved in a major settlement in recent years. We focused the list on specific products rather than services.
Correction: A previous version of this piece included a reference to the warning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had issued to KIND, forbidding them from including the word “healthy” on their products. Due to the FDA’s changing position on fats, that ruling has since been reversed, and the profile on KIND has been removed.